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In their own words

Written by Juliana Austen on August 5th, 2017.      0 comments

Digitised image of World War 1 diary entry.
Alexander Bastin McColl. Diary entry for 25-26 April 1915,MSX-8204, Alexander Turnbull Library
I have been re-reading
In Flanders Fields, the World War One Diary of Private Monty Ingram. 2006
It is a wonderful, real time story of his life in the trenches, both funny and sad.
Letters and diaries of First World War soldiers provide a fascinating glimpse into their extraordinary everyday lives. And lucky are the families that have these treasures to read. One family has created a blog of their soldier’s experience – read it here
In the late 1980s Jane Tolerton and Nicholas Boyack interviewed veterans for the World War One Oral History Archive held in the National Library, Wellington. A book of selections is available:
An awfully big adventure, New Zealand World War One veterans tell their stories / Jane Tolerton 2013
And even better is to hear the voices of these soliders! The sights and sounds of World War One are gathered together on an exceptional website ANZAC sight and sound.
John A. Lee was a politician and writer. He served in World War One, losing his left arm after being badly wounded. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for action at Messines in June 1917. Here you can hear his experience of that battle

Battle of Passchendaele competition winners announced

Written by on July 25th, 2017.      0 comments

Historic Passchendaele photo of artillery in the mud
Education Minister Nikki Kaye and the Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry have announced the winning students who will be flying to Belgium to attend the 100th anniversary commemorations for the Battle of Passchendaele.
The competition was launched by the Ministry of Education in May, in partnership with the sponsors, Fields of Remembrance Trust and the Passchendaele Society.
The competition, to raise awareness of the Battle through digital technologies asked entrants to develop a curriculum resource to be used for Year 7 to 10 students in the future.
The winners will travel to Belgium on 7 October 2017 to attend the National Commemoration Service at the Tyne Cot Cemetery near Zonnebeke in West Flanders.
“Tyne Cot Cemetery is the largest Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery in the world,” says Ms Barry.
“It is also the final resting place of 520 New Zealanders and a memorial to those missing in battle. They will also attend the New Zealand Memorial and Garden Opening on 12 October 2017. I planted a flax to begin construction of the garden in September 2015.”
“This will be the trip of a lifetime for the students,” says Ms Barry.
“It will be an invaluable educational experience as they retrace the steps of those who fought in WW1 in Passchendaele and Flanders Field.”

The winning entries are:
Rotorua Girls’ High School, Rotorua
Alyssa Mae Pineda, Kayla Kautai, Mairaatea Mohi, Atawhai Ngatai and Keighley Jones
The students created a scrolling menu of pages on their website called The Missed that detailed different aspects of the battle, a quiz to test learning and material in te reo Maori. The website impressed the judges because it enables students to think critically about the Battle of Passchendaele.

St Margaret’s College, Christchurch
Alexandra Lay
The judges were impressed with the digital map that navigated users through this website. It provided a coordinated story of the Battle of Passchendaele with provocative questions, a brilliant German photo album and some great quotes providing a New Zealand context.

St Paul’s Collegiate, Hamilton
Dylan Woodhouse, Tony Wu, Lucy Tustin and Conor Horrigan
The students created a website called Blood and Mud which had interactive activities and strong links to the curriculum. The judges were impressed by the use of social media, community engagement and provocative questions. They applauded the website’s ability to address diversity, connect the past with present and encourage students in Years 7 to 10 to engage and do their own research. It had the standout “wow factor”.

logos of supporters

Messines has never forgotten them

Written by on June 5th, 2017.      0 comments

Remembering New Zealanders in Messines, Belgium.

Battle of Messines

Written by on May 26th, 2017.      0 comments


JUNE 1917

Field gun at the Battle of Messines

Messines was the first ‘big push’ of 1917. Meticulously planned, the action started on the 7th of June with the detonation of huge underground mines that rattled the teacups in London and killed 10,000 German soldiers.

The New Zealanders secured their objectives and the battle was considered a great victory. Newspapers described it as “biggest and boldest attack of the war” and initially casualties were reported as very light. But the true cost of the battle started to make itself known as the Casualty Lists and Rolls of Honour were published in newspapers.

Last night’s casualty list was the heaviest yet described issues since the New Zealand Division participated in the battles of the Somme.Evening Post 21 June 1917.

There were 3,700 casualties, of which 700 were killed.

Our Roll of Honour lists the names of the men who died in this Battle.

For more information on the battle click HERE


Castle Kids Kindergarten commemorate ANZAC Day

Written by on May 20th, 2017.      0 comments

Castle Kids Kindergarten commemorate ANZAC Day

Aftermath   Siegfried Sassoon  March 1919

Written by on April 24th, 2017.      0 comments

A poem to commemorate ANZAC Day.

ANZ Bank

Written by on April 3rd, 2017.      0 comments

"Together we're honouring a century of the ANZAC spirit"



1917 A trail of Remembrance in Messines

Written by Juliana Austen on February 1st, 2017.      0 comments

In 1917 the New Zealanders moved into Belgium and began fighting in "Flanders Fields". On the 7th of June the Battle of Messines began with the detonation of 19 huge underground bombs - 10,000 German soldiers were killed in the blast and it rattled teacups in London. Fierce fighting continued for several days, by the time the New Zealand Division was relieved on 9 June, it had 3700 casualties, including 700 dead.

1916 3412 New Zealand lives lost

Written by Juliana Austen on January 1st, 2017.      0 comments

World War I New Zealand soldiers erecting a commemorative cross to those who died in the Somme Battle, 1916. 
Topics: Research

MOST CONSPICUOUS GALLANTRY 8/3504 Sergeant Donald Forrester Brown, Otago Regiment

Written by Juliana Austen on November 1st, 2016.      0 comments

For most conspicuous bravery and determination in attack when the company to which he belonged suffered very heavy casualties in officers and men from machine-gun fire. At great personal risk this NCO advanced with a comrade and succeeded in reaching a point thirty yards of the enemy guns. 
Topics: Research

Commemorations for the 100th Anniversary of The Somme

Written by Juliana Austen on September 15th, 2016.      0 comments

Those who fell 100 years ago were honoured and remembered in Auckland on the 15th September 2016.
A field of 163 crosses bears the names of Aucklanders who died in the battle on the 15th September 1916. 
Topics: Events, Regional

New Zealanders at the Battle of the Somme 15th September 1916

Written by Juliana Austen on September 10th, 2016.      0 comments

On 1 July 1916 British and French forces launched an offensive which would become known as the Battle of the Somme.
Topics: Events

Pre-school students proud to commemorate ANZAC day

Written by Juliana Austen on May 1st, 2016.      0 comments

As part of the Ministry of Education’s and Fields of Remembrance Trust’s ANZAC activity, ACG Sunderland Early Childhood Centre received a WW1 Commemoration Package, including three small white crosses to honour the men and women who died serving New Zealand during WW1.
Topics: Schools

Wellington Regional Field 2016

Written by Julian Austen on April 1st, 2016.      0 comments

The Salamanca Lawn Field of Remembrance Crosses in the Wellington Botanic Gardens this year contains 1848 crosses named for men from the wider Wellington region who lost their lives in 1915 and 1916.
Topics: Regional

Fields of Remembrance for Pre-schoolers

Written by Juliana Austen on April 1st, 2016.      0 comments

Following the success of the Fields of Remembrance in Schools project in 2015, the Trust in partnership with the Ministry of Education supplied a Remembrance kit to 4,600 early childcare centres.
Topics: Schools

The Fields of Remembrance Trust was established in 2012 to honour those who served and died for our nation during World War One.

The Trust is made up of the Passchendaele Society, the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association, New Zealand (RNZRSA) representIng all local RSAs, and the Auckland RSA. It is a registered charity.